Thursday, May 5, 2011

Florence, Italy, Day 9 and Day 10

Day 9

7:30am This morning we travelled from Paestum to Naples then caught a different train from Naples to Florence.  Our hotel had someone drive us to the train station at Paestum so that was good.  The train station at Paestum does not sell train tickets so we had to buy them from the ticket conductor which cost us 10.50 Euros each.  From Naples to Florence that was prepaid on our Eurail train pass.

On the way to Naples... Tyrrhenian Sea on the left

Shoddy buildings on the right...  The south really looks like an unkempt child abandoned, ignored and forsaken entirely compared to the north.  I wouldn't recognise Italy looking at some of the photos taken.  Some of the buildings look like they were bombed during World War 2 and remained as since.

10:30am Arrived in Naples and caught the 10:50am train to Florence.  Sat close to some Americans from Ohio.  They offered us cheese and bread which was rather generous of them.  We were also given little snacks on board the train.  I was compiling some code on my Mac on the way to Florence, and I got it to work just in time when we arrived which was about 2:30pm.  The trip from Naples to Florence was very pretty and calm, green hills, mountains, little houses, very different from the trip from Paestum to Naples.

2:35pm Had lunch after we checked in and dropped our luggage.  The hotel was only a 300m odd walk from the station.

Minestrone soup, grilled zucchini and eggplant and risotto

4:16pm Walked to the Piazza del Duomo.

Cathedral.  We didn't go in, instead we went into the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.  The following are pictures of the various exhibits on display.

Fancy sarcophagus

Treasures.  Many of them contain bones of humans.  A bit morbid I think.

Michaelangelo's Pietà del Duomo

I believe I can fly

St John the Baptist's beheading

7pm Walked to Piazza della Repubblica and went into the Zara shops to have a look around.  There were 2 stores, one selling only women's clothes on all 4 levels and the other had 4 levels too but only 1 level of men's clothes.  I didn't get anything but Lauren did.  Kind of disappointing as the men's section was just... not very interesting.

8pm Came back into the hotel and looked up on what good places were there to eat.  Found a place called Sostanza that supposedly had really good Florence steak (bistecca alla fiorentina).  So we took a walk there.  There was kid outside the restaurant who was waiting for his parents to come out of the same restaurant and he said the chicken was amazing so I ordered chicken based on his recommendation.
It was butter chicken but it didn't look anything like butter chicken!  The menu was entirely in Italian. :)  Lauren ordered something random and it turned out to be pork chop that was also really good.  We also ordered baked beans that we didn't know we ordered because it was in Italian. :)

That's butter chicken.  My taste buds were in love.

Pork chop and we also ordered a side dish of baked beans that were good too!

After dinner we had gelato again then came home around 10pm.  I was sooo tired last night so I didn't blog till today.  If I don't type a lot it usually means I am dead tired... step count was about 8K.

Oh in the same afternoon when we were walking back to the hotel from our Zara visit we saw someone trying to pick up a Euro coin from the ground but it was glued and made part of the actual walking path so they couldn't.  Obviously it was done on purpose.  That was amusing. :)

Day 10

10am After breakfast at 9am we feft for Mercato Centrale which is a market with specialty stores.  We bought balsamic vinegar, truffle with salt and truffle with honey frome one shop and looked at many other different foods that were on offer.

Happy pig

Brains for zombies

12pm till 3pm  We were at the Uffizi, which is supposedly Italy's greatest art gallery.  I didn't take many photos because you're not supposed to be taking any. :)  There were a lot of people at the Uffizi!

Birth of Venus

View from the 2nd floor of the same building

4pm Had gelato again. :)  Then walked around until 7:00pm window shopping and walking through markets.  Lauren got a free pair of boots (199 Euro) courtesy of yours truly.  I got words of appreciation in return.  And someone said konnichiwa to me in Japanese, as usual.

7pm Came back to the hotel and looked up a place to eat.  Started walking close to 8pm.  The place is called Trattoria Il Contadino and is about 800m from where we are.

Risotto as starter

Swordfish and spinach as 2nd course

Spicy rabbit as 2nd course

Green salad as 2nd course

Strawberries and cream as dessert

And finally, more gelato after dinner.  6 scoops of ice cream in a day. :)

1am Time to sleep!  We'll be off to Bologna tomorrow!  Walk count today is estimated to be 20K.


  1. Tomorrow you should try some italian salsiccia for a meal. We will see if you like it more than your favorite friday food.

  2. I should. I will let you know if salsiccia is better than my favourite friday food.


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